Lessons From a Primate Laboratory, Article Critique Example

The article gives a glimpse of how one research program developed studies on the learning abilities of rhesus monkeys that was carried out in the Primate Laboratory in Wisconsin. Harlow’s model of a surrogate mother used for studying primate attachments has helped psychologist to understand better the role of contact comfort in individual attachment formation. The surrogate mother research solved the original theoretical problem of measuring the relative strength of body contact comfort compared to satisfaction of nutritional needs as a motivational force that elites love for mothers in rhesus neonates. The results of the research provided support for contact comfort as the motive binding infants to mothers. The researchers also illustrated the axiom that no major act of animal behavior is determinant of a single variable. The disclosed variables from the research included nursing, rocking surrogates and cribs, and a mother’s warmth. Additionally, the researchers found out that real motherhood was superior to their man- made mothers. This is because in the study, real mothers were dynamic and responded to their infants’ needs and behaviors while the surrogate mothers only passively accepted.

Research also revealed that natural and normal love in rhesus monkeys developed through the interaction and sequencing of five major love systems. The five major love systems included maternal love, infant love, peer love, heterosexual love and paternal love. Among the five, scientist discovered that peer love was the most important as it developed through curiosity and exploration. In another study to determine how early environment affects learning capability of monkeys, it was found out that environment does not affect a monkeys learning capability. However, enriched early environments enable monkeys to adapt and train in order to reach a lofty intellectual performance level compared to those attained by deprived monkeys.

In conclusion, it is secure to articulate that the exploration for knowledge never ends since knowledge itself is forever changing. Although the study might have provided answers to unknown queries, there will always arise new problems, new hopes and new horizons. However, the study carried out by the above researchers is a major stepping stone in the field of psychology.